NHL releases full 2010-11 schedule of events

1 Comment

The NHL has released it’s schedule of events for next season, and it’s a jam-packed schedule full of big events that is sure to put the NHL and hockey at the forefront of the sports world. At least, I’m sure that’s what the NHL is hoping will happen.

By now, you’ve heard the news of the 2011 Winter Classic being played at Heinz Field between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. We also have news on the NHL All-Star game, the big NHL premiere weekend that will take place in Europe as well as the big news of a second outdoor game in Canada.

A couple of notes:

First off, the NHL is planning a Heritage Classic outdoor game between Calgary and Montreal, to be broadcast on CBC, RDS, and Versus. The NHL just needs the competition committee to approve the game in June.

The full NHL schedule for next season will be released on June 22.

Here’s the full schedule of events:

2010-11 NHL EVENTS
Kraft
Hockeyville, Sep. 28, Sabres v. Senators
Compuware NHL PremiereTM,
Oct. 7-10: Blue Jackets v. Sharks, Stockholm; Hurricanes v. Wild
Helsinki;
Bruins v. Coyotes, Prague
NHL Face-Off, Oct. 7, Canadiens v. Maple
Leafs, Toronto, ON
NHL Hall of Fame Game, Nov. 6
Bridgestone NHL
Winter Classic, Jan. 1: Capitals v. Penguins, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
NHL
All-Star Weekend, Jan. 29-30: Raleigh, NC
Hockey Day In Canada, Feb.
12
Hockey Day in America, Feb. 20
NHL Heritage ClassicTM,
Feb. 20: Canadiens v. Flames, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB (pending
approval of the Competition Committee)
2011 Stanley Cup® Playoffs,
April 13
NHL AwardsTM, Jun. 22, Las Vegas, NV
NHL Entry
Draft, Jun. 24-25, St. Paul, MN

Full release after the jump


NEW YORK (May 28, 2010) – The National Hockey League announced
today its schedule of signature events for the 2010-11 NHL season. A
record number of events are slated for this upcoming season, setting up
the NHL’s business for another successful year. Revenue generated from
the League’s large-scale events last season was up 22 percent over the
previous year and helped propel the League’s fourth consecutive year of
business growth, which included record-setting television ratings and
digital metrics across its platforms; as well as an unprecedented level
of NHL business partner activation.

Kraft Hockeyville

The NHL begins its season with the ultimate grassroots event that
gives communities across Canada the honor of hosting an NHL game from
their very own local arena. Dundas, Ontario, this year’s winning
community, represents the fifth winner of the annual Kraft Hockeyville
program.
On Tuesday, September 28, Dundas will host a 2010-11 NHL
pre-season game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators at
the newly renovated J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena. Together with
the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association
and CBC Television, Kraft connects family and friends through their
passion for hockey and pride for their community. Kraft Canada provides
$100,000 in arena upgrades to the winning community and $25,000 to each
of the four runner-up communities.

Compuware NHL Premiere

The 2010-11 NHL regular-season will launch on two continents next
October with the League celebrating its fourth consecutive year of
regular-season games taking place across Europe. An unprecedented six
NHL® teams – Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets,
Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks – will open the
season by playing six games in Europe as part of 2010 Compuware NHL
PremiereTM and NHL Face-OffTM.

The
Hurricanes and Wild will play two regular-season games against each
other at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Oct. 7 and
Friday, Oct. 8. The Blue Jackets and Sharks will square off for two
games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8
and Saturday, Oct. 9. Meanwhile, the Bruins and Coyotes will play each
other at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 and
Sunday, Oct. 10.

VERSUS, as well as local rightsholders will
televise the action live to fans in the U.S. In Canada, TSN will
provide live coverage.

Prior to the start of the regular
season in October, all six NHL teams will square off against European
competition in a series of exhibition games spanning across Europe.
Included in those games will be the first-ever visits by an NHL team to
Belfast, Ireland; Mannheim, Germany; Riga, Latvia; and St. Petersburg,
Russia.

NHL Face-Off

NHL Face-Off-the League’s annual launch
event in North America-welcomes the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL season
in North America on Oct. 7 with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting
arch-rival Montreal Canadiens live on CBC. The League will officially
celebrate the start of the season with an opening day hockey and
entertainment festival in Toronto providing fans the opportunity to
celebrate the coming of a historic NHL season. CBC will present a
second game that evening as part of an opening-night doubleheader when
the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.

In the U.S., the
season begins with a special doubleheader on VERSUS. Both Stanley Cup
finalists will take to the ice when the Flyers play Pittsburgh, followed
by the Blackhawks squaring off against the Colorado Avalanche.

Hall
of Fame

The Hall of Fame Game will be played on Saturday,
November 6, when the Toronto Maple Leafs will face either the Buffalo
Sabres or Chicago Blackhawks. The Hall of Fame inductions will take
place on Monday, November 8. CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada” will once
again provide full coverage of all of the festivities that evening.

Bridgestone
NHL Winter Classic

The much anticipated Bridgestone NHL Winter
Classic lands at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011-home of the
Pittsburgh Steelers. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin lead their
respective teams in the outdoor classic when the Pittsburgh Penguins
host the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter ClassicTM
on New Year’s Day. The NHL’s fiercest rivalry will face-off at 1 p.m.
ET in the classic, which Forbes magazine calls the best new sporting
event of the last decade. NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of
the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event
live. NHL Radio and Sirius XM Radio will provide radio coverage and
NHL.com will have extensive digital coverage. Fans can be first in line
to receive the updates and alerts on ticketing, news and other
information by visiting NHL.com for its continuing coverage on all
things related to the 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.

NHL
All-Star Game

The League’s mid-season spectacular returns when the
Carolina Hurricanes and the city of Raleigh host the 2011 National
Hockey League All-Star Celebration on Saturday, January 29 and Sunday,
January 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills® and the 58th NHL
All-Star Game at RBC Center. The action from both nights will be
covered live by VERSUS, CBC and RDS. The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will
mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The
2011 NHL All-Star Game will feature various hockey-themed events,
entertainment and activities. Further details on the 2011 NHL All-Star
Celebration, including ticket and broadcast details, will be released at
a later date.

Hockey Day In Canada and Hockey Day In America

February
promises to be a historic month for hockey in both Canada and the
United States. CBC’s 11th annual Hockey Day In Canada will take place on
Saturday, February 12 with the following triple header on CBC’s “Hockey
Night In Canada”: Ottawa at Edmonton (2pm ET), Toronto at Montreal (7
pm ET), and Calgary at Vancouver (10pm ET). Hockey Day In Canada
celebrates Canada’s love and devotion to the game of hockey with
celebrations in communities throughout the country.

The NHL and
NBC salute roots of the game, its traditions and pageantry with Hockey
Day in America on Sunday, Feb. 20. As part of USA Hockey’s Hockey
Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok, the day-long event will
celebrate hockey with a slate of NHL games that are scheduled to include
Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Washington, Buffalo, Detroit,
Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston.

NHL Heritage Classic

The
NHL also hopes to play an outdoor regular season game in Canada next
season and will be discussing the plan with the Competition Committee in
June. The Heritage Classic would be played at McMahon Stadium in
Calgary on Sunday, February 20 and would feature the Montreal Canadiens
and Calgary Flames. CBC and RDS would carry the game in Canada and
VERSUS would telecast the outdoor match in the United States. Assuming
plans for the game are approved, it will be the first NHL regular season
game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the
Canadiens at first Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on November
22, 2003. Fans wishing to follow all the news and information about the
NHL Heritage Classic can log-on to nhl.com.

2011 Stanley Cup
Playoffs

The 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on
Wednesday, April 13. The last possible date for Game 7 of the Stanley
Cup Final is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2011.

NHL Awards

A
new tradition continues Wednesday, June 22 in Las Vegas when the top
NHL stars join forces with celebrities from music, stage and screen for a
celebration of hockey’s best at the 2011 NHL Awards at the Pearl
Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The Awards once
again will celebrate the best of the best in hockey on and off the ice.
Television partners CBC and VERSUS will return for the latest
installment of this renowned event.

NHL Entry Draft

Wrapping
up the historic NHL season will take the League to the “State of
Hockey” as the Minnesota Wild host the 2011 NHL® Entry Draft at Xcel
Energy Center in St. Paul. The Entry Draft will be held over two days,
Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25. TSN will provide live
round-by-round coverage of the draft in Canada, while in the U.S.,
Friday’s first round will be live on VERSUS and Saturday’s Rounds 2-7
will be televised by NHL Network. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be the
second-ever held in the state of Minnesota and the first at Xcel Energy
Center – a building home to 409 consecutive Wild sellouts. The NHL
Entry Draft has grown significantly since the first such event was held
in a Montreal hotel ballroom in 1963. In Minnesota, NHL club
executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Entry Draft floor
while more than 10,000 fans and more than 500 print, television and
radio media are expected.

Report: Vegas among teams in on Pens draftee Byron

Getty
Leave a comment

Will Butcher isn’t the only college free agent garnering interest in free agency.

University of Maine senior Blaine Byron, Pittsburgh’s sixth-round pick in ’13, has passed on signing with the club and can now ink with a team of his choosing. Per The Hockey News, the four “lead suitors” for Byron are Vegas, New Jersey, Ottawa and Buffalo.

Byron, 22, is coming off a great year. He racked up 18 goals and 41 points in 36 games, finishing tied for 18th in the country in scoring. It’s unclear where he would’ve fit in the Pittsburgh organization, though, and one has to think the signing of Northeastern’s Zach Aston-Reese might’ve played a factor in his departure.

In a recent Tribune-Review piece, Byron did make a list of the club’s top-20 prospects, coming in at No. 17.

Yesterday, Butcher — the reigning Hobey Baker winner — announced that he wouldn’t sign with Colorado, the team that drafted him four years ago. Instead, Butcher will parlay a successful senior campaign at Denver University into interest on the open market.

Under Pressure: Barry Trotz

Getty
1 Comment

This post is part of Capitals Day on PHT…

When the Capitals hired Barry Trotz three years ago, they said he was “the only coach we coveted,” calling him “an ideal fit to help lead our club.”

And in many ways, Trotz has been an ideal fit. He’s led to the club to consecutive Presidents’ Trophies, racking up 156 wins over the course of three seasons. He won the 2016 Jack Adams as coach of the year. Players have performed exceptionally well on his watch: Braden Holtby won his first-ever Vezina, Alex Ovechkin racked up a pair of Rocket Richard trophies and both Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov were named All-Stars.

Despite all this, Trotz is now coaching for his job. Essentially.

A string of disheartening playoff failures — each more painful than the last — have put him in an uncomfortable and pressure-packed situation. He’s heading into the the last of his four-year deal with no contract certainty beyond.

Yes, it’s true Caps GM Brian MacLellan didn’t make any changes with Trotz or to his coaching staff following the Game 7 loss to Pittsburgh.

But MacLellan didn’t offer an extension, either.

Brian Burke once likened this scenario to being a lame duck. Trotz refused to see it that way, insisting that he wasn’t worried about the spot he was in.

“No,” he told CSN Mid Atlantic in June, when asked if not having a contract changes his approach at all. “It has 0.0 effect on me, actually. Not at all. I think it might have [had] an effect 10, 12 years ago for me. Not now. It has zero effect.

“I’m not worrying about that at all.”

This is pretty much on par with Trotz’s messaging from the moment Washington crashed out of the playoffs. While his players were visibly dejected and downright hurt during locker clean-out day, the 55-year-old was upbeat.

Defiant, almost.

Trotz talked about how the team’s window wasn’t closed, and how it would eventually “break through that barrier.” He suggested “laughing at the past” could “ease us into the future.”

The assembled media took note of this, which contrasted the vibe of his visibly distraught players. So it was asked — why did he seem more upbeat than his players?

From the Washington Post:

“Put it this way — I haven’t slept in two friggin’ days. To say that I don’t feel very distraught, that really sort of angers me, because talk to my family to see if I’m distraught.

“I have to be positive in terms of, ‘do I think we’re going in the right direction?’ Yes, and I’m positive of that. But we haven’t broken through. That’s why I’m probably the way I am. I also said we didn’t get to where we wanted to get to.

“That angers me. When something doesn’t go your way, you can roll up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself. I don’t.”

That Trotz took this approach isn’t surprising. Coaching is a leadership role, and there didn’t seem to be any point to piling onto what was already a fairly miserable day in D.C.

So hey, why not keep that vibe going when it comes to contract uncertainty?

Trotz will likely continue to do so, even in the face of growing pressure. And pressure will continue to grow. Remember, there’s one final and very important dynamic at play — right next to Trotz behind the Washington bench is assistant coach Todd Reirden. The same Todd Reirden who’s thought to be a head-coach-in-waiting, and has been tied to previous openings in Colorado and Florida.

Fun times in Washington. As they always are.

Looking to make the leap: Nathan Walker

Getty
Leave a comment

This post is part of Capitals Day on PHT…

Should Nathan Walker jump to the NHL this season, it’ll be a significant one.

Washington’s third-round pick at the 2014 draft, Walker would be in line for his big league debut if he makes the team out of training camp — but that’s not the only milestone at hand.

Should the speedy forward get the call, he’ll also become the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL. Heady stuff for a 23-year-old who, just six years ago, was playing for the Sydney Ice Dogs.

Walker’s rise has been a grind. He logged time in the Czech League, the USHL and the ECHL before emerging as a valuable contributor for Washington’s AHL affiliate in Hershey. Last year, he racked up 11 goals and 23 points in 58 games for the Bears — and another six in 12 playoff games — while emerging as a high-energy guy that liked to finish his checks.

More to the point, Walker’s a pest.

Despite standing just 5-foot-8 and weight 186 pounds, the Aussie a real edge to his game. It was certainly on display last preseason when, in a game against Montreal, Walker fought Andrew Shaw after Shaw tattooed Connor Hobbs into the boards. Walker would go on to scrap three more times for Hershey last year, one of the club’s more active pugilists.

That style of play will work to Walker’s advantage, as Washington’s thinned-out forward group has spots up for grabs — especially in the bottom six. Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik are all gone, which means potential promotions for the likes of Tom Wilson, Brett Connolly and others. Wilson and Winnik were wingers on last year’s fourth line — centered by Jay Beagle — and Walker looks to have the inside track on a replacement spot.

That said, there will be competition. Devante Smith-Pelly was signed in free agency. Riley Barber, who played alongside Walker in Hershey and made his NHL debut last year, is in the mix. Farmhands Chandler Stephenson and Liam O’Brien will battle as well.

But the Caps like Walker, enough to have signed him to a two-year extension this summer. In announcing the deal, GM Brian MacLellan suggested Walker could very well make history this season.

“Walker has a good chance of playing,” MacLellan said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “These guys can all come up, and there’s just going to be more opportunity for them to play this year.”

Poll: Will the Caps finally make it to the Stanley Cup Final?

Getty
10 Comments

This post is part of Capitals Day on PHT…

If you’re a fan of the Washington Capitals, you’re used to having a lot of fun between October and April. Once mid-April hits, things become a little more frustrating.

There’s no denying that the Capitals have been great in the Alex Ovechkin era. They’re now coming off back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy titles, but they still haven’t found a way to get to passed the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Heading into 2017-18, they’re still expected to be a quality team, but the salary cap has forced them to make a few significant changes over the summer. Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt and trade deadline acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk are all gone. There’s no doubt that those losses will hurt the overall depth they’ve accumulated over the years.

As much as those guys will be missed, general manager Brian MacLellan will be pleased that he was able to lock up key figures like Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie to long-term contracts. With both players still in the fold, the Caps remain one of the deeper teams in the league. Other squads would kill to be able to come at you with Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky.

The departures of Alzner, Schmidt and Shattenkirk have left them a little thin on the blue line. Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson and Matt Niskanen are still around, but the only other players on one-way contracts are Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney.

If some of their defensemen struggle during the season, they should be able to compensate for that with arguably the best goalie tandem in the league. Both Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer are back, and they should provide the team with some solid performances between the pipes.

It’s pretty clear that the Capitals still aren’t over last spring’s Game 7 loss to the Penguins. Now, it’s all about how they respond this coming season. No one will care about the type of regular season they have (unless it’s bad) until they show they can get over their issues in the playoffs.

Will they overcome this mental hurdle?

Alright, it’s your turn to have your say. Feel free to vote in the poll below and leave your opinion in the comments section.